Monday, May 6, 2013

1 Corinthians 5:6-8; In the light of the Sun

1 Corinthians 5:6-8:

6 Your boasting is not good.  Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?  7 Clean out the old yeast, so that you may be a new batch of dough, as you are unleavened bread.  For Christ, our passover lamb, has been sacrificed.  8 Therefore, let us not feast/keep the F/festival with old yeast, neither the yeast of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. My Translation

Leading up to this passage, Paul has been reprimanding the Corinthians for taking pride (being puffed up) over a man who is carrying on a sexual relationship with his father’s wife (not his mother).  The Corinthians’ theological flaws are being revealed by Paul.

A couple of things about this passage that may not be so obvious should be pointed out.  First of all, in verse 7 we have καὶ γὰρ τὸ πάσχα ἡμῶν ἐτύθη Χριστός which literally means: “And/even for the passover of us has been sacrificed Christ”.  To put it into proper English, it should read: “For Christ, that is/even our passover, has been sacrificed”.  Of course, in order to understand what Paul means here is to understand what the sacrifice of the Passover was, it was a lamb!  Therefore, most modern translations add in “lamb” to the translation as that in undoubtably what Paul means.  This could mean that "festival" should be "The Festival" of Unleavened bread, or as we know it, "The Passover Festival".

The last area of interest appears at the end of this passage: ἀλλ᾿ ἐν ἀζύμοις εἰλικρινείας καὶ ἀληθείας (but in/with unleavened bread of sincerity and truth).  I want to focus on “sincerity”.  One of the things that appeals to me about the Greek text is how the ancients put together words in order to gather a meaning.  In this case, εἰλικρίνεια, which means “a quality or state of being free of dissimulation” or “sincerity” (BDAG), is one of these words.  This word is made up of two Greek words: ἥλιος (sun) and κρίνω (to judge, to decide).  Therefore, the word literally means “to decide/judge by the light of the sun” or “tested by the light of the sun” (TDNT).  Morally, it would mean that whatever is decided or judged is in the light of the sun where all can see it.  Therefore, nothing is hidden from view.  So, if one is sincere, then that are in full view, in the light of the sun for all to see.  Nothing should be hidden from view in a true Christian.

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